Tax Time Checklist

Tax Time Checklist

As the owner of a small business, the toughest part of tax time isn’t always writing out the check to the government! Nor is it the actual process of filing the taxes.

Often times, the most difficult part thing about taxes is the preparation. There’s nothing more frustrating than psyching yourself up to file your taxes and realizing you don’t have everything you need. Whether you’re missing receipts, paperwork or something else vital to tax preparation, not having everything you need before you start can cost you valuable time, effort and energy. As part of Malkasian Accountancy’s ongoing commitment make filing as quick and painless as possible for small businesses, we’ve developed this quick tax time checklist to ensure you’re prepared to file:

-Make sure all your income from 2011 is accounted for. This includes everything from the obvious — such as your sales records and gross receipts from any services or sales rendered during the calendar year — to things that can slip through the cracks, such as allowances and returns. Also make sure that your inventory at the beginning and end of the year is recorded. Lastly, ensure you’ve accounted for any interest earned from business savings and/or checking accounts.

-A tax time reminder many people overlook, or at least don’t take advantage of entirely, is recording and receiving reimbursement for expenses related to travel and transportation. Any travel you make should be recorded in your tax filing. Keep a mileage log in your car for all trips made for business purposes and save receipts whenever you pay a toll, pay to park the car or take public transportation. For longer-distance travel, make sure to save all receipts from the airfare (or the mileage log, if you drove the entire distance) as well as hotels and meals. Don’t forget that any taxes and tips you pay can be written off and are a perfect candidate for a tax time checklist, as is the Internet connection you have to pay for at a hotel or Internet café. This is a handy tip to keep in mind, since many hotels now charge high daily fees for Internet usage.

-“Everything else.” This is where having a tax time checklist comes in handy, because it is very easy to overlook the day-to-day expenses and not account for them when you file your taxes. Most people won’t forget the essentials such as the wages that are paid to employees, rent, business insurance and fringe benefits such as health insurance, HAS and pension/profit-sharing contributions made by the employer. However, other easy-to-overlook expenses such as office supplies, office repairs and home office operating costs such as square footage, rent paid, mortgage interest and utilities can all add up to significant deductions on your return.

A thorough tax time checklist will cut down on the amount of time you spend preparing and filing your small business taxes. Meet with your accountant today to make sure your tax time checklist has everything it should have and make this year’s return efficient and painless!